On Saturday, March 26, 2011, Don Giovanni’s Feast at Wynwood Kitchen & Bar fused operatic sounds with an artistic view. Arranged by the Florida Grand Opera’s Crescendo Circle, this intimate gathering hosted about 100 guests in the restaurants’ courtyard, encased by graffitied walls with sparsely placed tables and oversized tires for décor. The trendy and casual event’s proceeds benefited the Crescendo Circle.
In 1994, The Greater Miami Opera merged with The Opera Guild Inc., of Fort Lauderdale; making The Florida Grand Opera what it is today. The Crescendo Circle was implemented at the Opera in August 2010 with 9 initial executive members. Since its inauguration, it has been making quite a name for itself in the Miami community with their events and fundraisers. A backstage tour fundraiser was held to raise funds and membership to the program, which was organized by The Crescendo Circle’s Manager and liason between FGO and the program, Alberto Perez-Barrios. The Florida Grand Opera is partnered with the Adrienne Arsht Center.
The cocktail hour illuminated with lights, set to the mellow mood of jazz classics. Barcardi sponsored cocktails before the four students of the Young Artist Studio gave a special performance led by Kelly Anderson, FGO and Young Artist Studio Artistic Administrator. This program was created in 1984 as a two year residency program helping some of the nation’s top operatic singers refine their skills and technique. The program holds auditions nationwide and weans through about 600 applications, picking the top 6 each season. The four performers picked for this event were nothing short of outstanding; Jonathan Michie who’s been performing since the age of 5 showed charisma in his pieces and stated that he, “loves being able to attract all sorts of demographics with these pieces.” Rebecca Luitto, who joined the Young Artist Studio a year ago, is performing Zerlina in Don Giovanni; says that one of her favorite things about Opera is, “embodying the character and telling a story.” James Barbato performed a sincere piece with Ashley Vazquez accompanying all four performances on the keyboard.
Don Giovanni’s Feast benefited a good cause, shed light on Opera and the Young Artist Studio, and brought new opportunities to a section of Miami that for so many years was not safe. With the revitalization of Miami partnering with such positive events, the city is sure to earn a better reputation soon!
For more information on The Crescendo Cirle or the Florida Grand Opera visit their website at www.fgo.org.